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Predicting the Atlanta Falcons 53 Man Roster: (Part 1)- Quarterbacks and Running Backs

August 26th, 2013 at 5:24 PM
By Graham Waldrop

Today the Falcons cut three more players, all wide receivers, in order to get their roster down to 75 players.  

Those players were Marcus Sales, Rashad Evans and Marcus Jackson.  

With only 75 players left and the August 31 53 man roster deadline only five days away, we figured it might be a good time to go ahead and predict who will make the final roster.

'Matt Ryan under center' photo (c) 2013, Thomson20192 - license:


On The Roster: Matt Ryan, Dominique Davis, Sean Renfree

Will Make The Team: Matt Ryan, Dominique Davis

Should be cut: Sean Renfree

Sean Renfree has received less and less playing time as the preseason has gone on, and has struggled when he has gotten an opportunity to play.  In our visits to training camp, his timing with the receivers wasn't as sharp as his counterparts, nor were his throws.  He didn't even play in the game against Tennessee on Saturday night.  

All of these factors lead us to believe that it might be the end for the 7th round draft pick out of Duke.  He's definitely not overtaking Dominique Davis for the second QB spot, leaving him to be of little use for Atlanta.  He may make the roster to give the Falcons more depth at QB, but he hasn't done much to warrant a roster spot.

In the first game, he didn't play too poorly with his limited playing time, going 2/4 for 20 yards.  But in the second game against the Ravens, it was truly his undoing.  He went 8/16 for 63 yards and a 60.2 passer rating.  He wasn't able to lead any sustainable drives against the Ravens second and third string players, and most of his passes were off target.  It was also bad because he came in after Dominique Davis who went 8/10 for 98 yards, and led the Falcons to three scoring drives.  

It was at that point that the battle for the 2nd QB spot was ultimately decided.  It'll be interesting to see if the Falcons give Renfree a spot, or if they let him go.


On The Roster: Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling, Antone Smith, Josh Vaughan, Ronnie Wingo

Will Make The Team: Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling, Antone Smith

Will Be Cut: Ronnie Wingo, Josh Vaughan

Smith is currently listed as the 4th running back on the depth chart, but if we're to go by who has performed the best during the preseason games, it's difficult to know who would get the 4th running back slot.  

Through three games, Antoine Smith has only played in the game against the Baltimore Ravens in which he compiled 6 rushes for 16 yards.  He missed the first game due to injury and simply didn't play in the last game as an RB, but did on special teams.

Josh Vaughan through three games has rushed for eight carries for 43 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.  He didn't play in the game against Tennessee, and had a bad first game against the Bengals in which he only put up three carries for -1 yards.  But he rebounded next week to rush for a team high 44 yards on five carries against Baltimore.

Ronnie Wingo has rushed for eight carries for 42 yards so far in the preseason.  He didn't play against Tennessee and put up these numbers against Baltimore and Cincinnati.  So he and Vaughan's numbers are practically the same overall, yet they still find themselves behind Antoine Smith on the depth chart as of today despite putting up better numbers.  

All three of these guys could definitely be cut as the Falcons already have three running backs they can depend on.  One of which is an all-pro in Jackson and the other Snelling and Rodgers have been reliable Falcons back ups for a number of years. If one of these players makes the team, it will likely be a special teams spot.

This is the key, and Antone Smith knows this.  Smith has been in the Falcons system for three years and has been a serviceable and is now an experienced special teams player.  Because of this fact, he looks like he may have the best chance as of now to make the team. 

Vaughan has played before as a member of the Carolina Panthers, but didn't play for anyone last season.  This is Wingo's first year in the league.  The Falcons know what they're getting with Smith over these two as he is the most experienced out of the three when it comes to special teams.  If Wingo or Vaughan had a couple of touchdowns, or were able to bust a big run or two, they would have a better chance, but they haven't.  Since the Falcons don't need additional help running the ball, Smith is the likely candidate due to his special teams experience.


On The Roster: Bradie Ewing, Patrick DiMarco, 

Who Will Make The Team: Bradie Ewing

Who Will Be Cut: Patrick DiMarco

Ewing has been the Falcons target for the starting FB position since last year and there's no reason the Falcons won't start him at FB this year.  DiMarco has been given a look, but hasn't done much to warrant recognition for his efforts.  This was Ewing's job heading into training camp, and despite him struggling to stay healthy, that's not about to change.

What do you think about the QB and RB races.  Are our predictions of Renfree, Wingo and Vaughan sound right to you?  Let us know.  

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Tags: Antone Smith, Atlanta, Atlanta Falcons, Dominique Davis, Football, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling, Josh Vaughan, Matt Ryan, NFL, Ronnie Wingo, Sean Renfree, Steven Jackson

3 Responses to “Predicting the Atlanta Falcons 53 Man Roster: (Part 1)- Quarterbacks and Running Backs”

  1.  BigBlueDanBoo says:

    It sounds like Sean is not quite ready for prime time! Good systematic analysis of the others and why they will be retained or cut. We shall see if the writer is spot on. There are so many factors and moving parts here.

  2.  godawgs says:

    Thanks for your good analysis of the probable cuts. This situation arises every year and the choices made can make or break the season. The Falcons have not done well so far and really have not been very impressive. Let’ hope that the season will be different. Keep up the good work.

  3.  BigBlueBee says:

    It seems like each of the running backs has something good going for them and also a reason why they may not be chosen. I am sure the managers are looking for known and proven entities at this point, so the predictions are good based on what we know.

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